AS JUMEIRAH GROUP LOOKED ahead to the future and its goal to further pursue its position as a leading international luxury hospitality brand, the company knew offering elevated dining experiences was one way to achieve its mission. And with that goal in mind, Jumeirah Group created the position of chief culinary officer and tapped Michael Ellis, the former managing director of the Michelin Guide, to fill the vacancy.
With Ellis at the helm, the luxury hotel group focuses on delivering culinary sensations like no other, starting at the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The property recently announced the addition of three new chefs to its current collection of 10 celebrity restaurants. The three — Francky Semblat, Kim Joinié-Maurin and Kasper Kurdahl — enjoy a combined total of seven Michelin stars.
The future is bright for Jumeirah Group as the brand prepares to dazzle and delight taste buds around the globe.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS? I think almost everywhere I have visited inspired me in some way. Whether it is fermentation in Seoul, chawanmushi custard in Tokyo or open fire-cooked paella in Valencia, there are an almost unlimited number of cooking styles, ingredients and techniques I have admired. Our job at Jumeirah is to take these different elements and incorporate them into our menus in a way that is accessible and popular with our diverse guests from around the world.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO? I was in awe of Joël Robuchon; his brilliant technique, sense of flavor, texture and presentation were truly unique. He trained and inspired a whole generation of chefs from around the globe. Of course now we have two of his chefs (Chef Francky Semblat, most recently at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Shanghai, and Chef Kim Joinié-Maurin, most recently at Joël Robuchon in Singapore) working with us at Burj Al Arab, which is hugely exciting. Working alongside Chef Kasper Kurdahl, most recently at Le Chalet de La Foret in Belgium, these new chefs (and indeed the teams they lead) personify our ambitious plans for fine dining at Jumeirah Group perfectly.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE? It was no doubt my first boss in France when I was working as a commis cook in Paris many years ago, Chef Andre. He taught me whatever you do in the kitchen, whether peeling potatoes, turning artichokes or making a béarnaise sauce, attention to detail and no cutting corners were the keys to success.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY? I have many favorites, and my top 10 would include Paris, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, San Sebastián, Seoul, New York and London … but I could go on and on!
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE? There is no question sustainability, the reduction of food waste and one-use plastic and other packaging is going to become an even bigger issue than it is today.
Expansion plans involving a new 14-gate concourse at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California must clear environmental review before moving forward.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower opened following full renovations to its 280 guestrooms and public spaces. The property is the second Hyatt Regency in Spain. The hotel sits in a Barcelona skyline landmark, a 29-story tower topped with a glass dome that provides travelers with 360-degree views and an unparalleled dining experience.
Opened this past November, Osaka Excel Tokyu Hotel rethinks the classic Japanese business hotel format in a delightful way. While the basic design concept is rooted in generations-old Japanese aesthetics, its wow factor comes from the interior designers’ approach of filtering them through a kaleidoscope. This effect is accomplished with ornate hexagonal lamps, carpeting with geometric shape motifs and pops of happy gold and blue hues. The lobby adds to that with a whimsical, but sophisticated mix of artwork and decorative ornaments, with a color palette and ornamentation that extends to 364 private rooms and suites throughout 17 floors.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
In an age where airlines continually look for new ways to increase connectivity and offer passengers more options, a new agreement gives United Airlines passengers the ability to book spots on 68 Vistara-operated flights to 26 destinations in India. The agreement goes into effect Feb. 28.
Reconnect with nature and step outside your comfort zone at Palmaïa, The House of AïA. The new Riviera Maya resort focuses on inner exploration and a respect for nature, offering visitors an array of experiences promoting self-discovery and spiritual wellness.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes: